Billy Sharp scored twice as Sheffield United beat Oldham Athletic at Bramall Lane this afternoon.
But this win, which ensures Chris Wilder's side remain second in League One, was much harder to come by than many had predicted as their rivals dug-in before being picked apart during the closing stages.
Sharp claimed his 15th and 16th goals of the season - and second brace in as many games - during an explosive quarter-of-an-hour spell.
First, the striker pounced on Mark Duffy's pass to power home past Connor Ripley before bagging his second and fourth in only two outings with an equally emphatic finish.
United, naming an unchaged starting eleven, found Steve Robinson's side remarkably difficult to break down. Despite travelling to South Yorkshire without a league win since October and rooted to the foot of the table, the visitors' defence remained intact until 18 minutes from time when United's captain, combining with Duffy, finally broke their resolve.
Earlier Simon Moore, the United goalkeeper, had been forced to make a fine save from Ryan Flynn as the former United midfielder went close to giving Oldham a shock first-half lead. Daniel Lafferty responded by directing a header back across the box which somehow evaded both Matt Done and Sharp before the latter powered home.
Wilder's team, who had a strong appeal for a fourth minute penalty turned down when Ethan Ebanks-Landell was sent tumbling in the box, also saw Jack O'Connell go close with a far post header. But it was Sharp who shattered their resistance in typically ruthless fashion.